In fact, however, I don't expect to use this picture for the book. I'd like the actual drawings to be somewhat simpler and flatter. Also, the format will be different from this, with square pages. So the image to illustrate this page, where the boy explains to the now grown-up dog that she came from China, will be a double page spread, twice as wide as high, and the text will be incorporated in the picture.
But I liked this image. I used my former next door neighbor boy Tate as a model for the boy in the picture. He patiently posed for me, holding a stuffed dog and talking to it to try & get in the mood.